Thursday, May 27, 2010

Heard At My House

This is just mini, but really cute to me.

Our oldest did a ribbon/flag dance at our homeschool co-op to "Indescribable". Great song. My youngest girl (3) has been trying to do it at home. And she just now was playing with the ribbon and singing the song:

"Mommy, I was doing the song, 'All-containable, All-complainable'. You know that one?"

Ya. I know *something* like that one. :-)

A Needful Word

I have had a "thought" niggling away at me for some time now. Sort of inocuously for a good long time, but fairly potently unhealthy of late. My pride prohibits me from flat out telling you what this ridiculous fear/worry/thought was, but suffice it to say that it was a radical waste of time and energy. Truly an irrational fear.

So this morning, as I've been knowing I need to somehow uproot this thought from the dirt of my mind, I read Psalm 147: 10-11...

"His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love."
Now what you need to know, is that that verse speaks in a very specific way to this weed of a thought my brain was tending. If you know me in real life, you could ask me what that is specifically and I might get brave enough to tell you.

But here is what I want to tell you today, and what I hope you will have the faith to experience: The Bible speaks on every subject, touches on every worry, explains every quandry, and answers every question that you may be mulling over. Sometimes in ridiculously clear ways. Sometimes you'll say "well, that's ironic" or "I didn't see that coming" or "has this verse always been here? I've never noticed it before."

Ask the Lord to speak to you through his word. Trust him to do it. You'll be amazed at what the Word actually says about all of today's present concerns. This is not an outdated book. This is a guideline and a help for your immediate circumstance. He will speak to you. Will you listen?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wow-ful Women Wednesdays

The statistics are bad. They say that Christian marriages are as likely to end in divorce as non-Christian marriages. That's not okay. It's not okay that non-Christian families are falling apart. It's not okay that our friends and family are being divided and shattered in this way.

I know of too many couples today who are struggling in their marriages, who want it to work out but can't see the way to restoration, who are looking to the Lord for healing but can't tear down the walls between them and their spouses.

Will you join me today in praying for marriages. Pray that those who are hurting will be humble and gracious enough to love their spouse despite their weaknesses. That they will have the "others-centeredness" to care for each other's needs above their own. That they will look to the inventor of marriage, the Lord himself, to the be the healer and restorer and rebuilder of their family.

And not only for those among us who we know are struggling: pray also for those who are doing well, that they would be even stronger in their faith and their unity, and that there wouldn't be even a crack in the bond that unites them.

Sometimes the wounds are deep, and deliberate, and unfathomably hard to forgive. But sometimes it just starts from a tone, and an offense, and an attitude that is left to fester. Let's nip those kinds of offenses in the bud and let love cover a multitude of sins. And let's pray pray pray for the health of the marriages in our midst. No matter how hard it is to work it out, this is a battle worth fighting.

It's Me -- Sara Groves

Well it came and caught us off our guard
we were just laughin' and feelin' alright
had such a great time just last night
we walked into a minefield undetected
you took a tone and I took offense
anger replacing all common sense

oh run for your life
all tenderness is gone
in the blink of an eye
all good will has withdrawn
and we mark out our paces and
stare out from our faces
but baby you and I are gone gone gone

incomprehensible layers of isolation
now you're the man with a heart of stone
making me pay here by being alone
seemingly justified righteous indignation
now I'm the woman who holds all her pain
looking for somebody else to blame

we hold all the keys to our undoing
cutting me down in small degrees
you know my worst insecurities
I'm making no effort to understand
no one can hurt you like I can
deep down inside the girl's waking up
she's calling out to the boy she loves

it's me
oh baby it's me
how in the world can tenderness be gone
in the blink of an eye

the girl in me she's callin out
oh the girl in me she's callin out
to the boy in you
to the boy in you

baby come back
baby come back to me

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hemmed In

Long weekend, eh? So nice. So good. So restful. So extended in our case, because my husband had a week of holidays prior to the Canadian long weekend and OH was it good to have him here. We were very productive and checked lots of things off our to-do list. That felt good. I also took the very wise advice of a veteran homeschool mom who told me to "take time to laugh and rest and just enjoy the family". That was a good word to have bopping around in my brain. Stopping to laugh is not something at which I excel. I'm much more likely to work and forget to have fun, or to stop working and sit on my behind with a book in front of my face ignoring the world. Either way, not much fun for the kiddos.

So we stopped and played and laughed and sight-saw and worked and loved together. It was good.

And I slept. Slept in in the morning. Napped in the afternoon. Went to bed early. That was lovely too. But really, not so helpful in the long run.

My theory with sleeping is that if only I had 3 days of solid, uninterrupted, blissful sleep that I would be thoroughly caught up on the last 12 years of motherhood-sleep (which we all know is often broken and fleeting) and would be able to conquer the world and stay caught up on my sleep with a mere 8 hours a night.

That, my friends, is a heap-load of hogwash.

Here's what I find on long weekends and summer holidays too. The longer break I get, the longer break I want. Why? Because I am L.A.Z.Y. "A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man." (Prov.6:10-11) What kind of poverty can a stay at home mom who brings in no income bring upon her family? Ah. A post for another day. I have a LOT to say about that.

But for now, here is what I want to remind myself of, and to encourage you with.

There is a time for rest and sleep and the free-wheeling days of unstructured holidays. However, do not despise the structure and boundaries of routine. I have to tell you, I LOVE getting back to routine today. And so do my kids. Having a plan and a direction for the many hours of our day helps us all to function better together, it gives us a rhythm in which living in harmony becomes easier. And, here's just the brutal, honest truth, it keeps us all out of trouble!

Don't forget that for your "Lazy Days of Summer" mindset. Free time so often dissolves into not only unproductive time, but actual destructive time.

I will be posting something later this month about what our "school" plans will be for the summer and my rationale for planning some daily stuff.

But for now, on this GORGEOUS Tuesday after a long weekend, please don't begrudge the chance to get back into the routine of work and school and schedule. The Lord uses these things to hem us in, behind and before, to protect us and to guide us. That is a beautiful thing.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Foodie Fridays

I'm posting a recipe today that I have never made. Not once. And do you know why? Because my mom is a saint and she makes this for me every so often and brings it over "so you don't have to cook, dear. You're so busy with housework and homeschooling. You can have a break". Like tonight. She's coming tonight, and I can hardly wait! She's bringing a salad, bread, and this yummy casserole. This recipe is one of my favourite things. Total comfort food happiness. My grandma likes to say of it, "Well, this can't hurt you. Nothing bad in it. It's all good stuff." And you need to know, whenever I hear her say that I know she is totally wrong. This stuff will kill you over time. :-) There isn't a fresh, unrefined calorie in this dish. There are 3 fresh veggies listed in the ingredients and two of them are "optional". And I don't even care. We get to eat this so rarely, and we eat so fresh-veggie-non-refined so typically that I don't feel even the slightest pang of guilt for noshing on this every once in awhile.

Do enjoy this, please. Or if you don't want to make it, give the recipe to your mom and make her cook it for you :-)

Chicken Tettrazini by Linda Sadler (from the Crumlin United Church Anniversary Cookbook)

2 c. diced cooked chicken (or turkey)
1 green pepper diced (optional)
1 clove garlic minced (optional)
2 cans of cream of celery soup
1/4 pound Velveeta Cheese
1/4 c. butter
1 onion diced
1 can sliced mushrooms, drained
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c. milk
1/2 to 1 pkg. 1/2" egg noodles
1/4 pound mild cheddar cheese

In butter, saute green pepper, garlic and onion. Add chicken, soup, mushrooms, milk, and salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes. Cook noodles as directed on package. Grate cheddar and Velveeta cheese. Place a layer of chicken mixture in small roaster pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 of cheddar cheese. Place a layer of noodles over top of the cheese layer. Sprinkle with 1/2 the Velveeta. Repeat layers. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes. Serves 8-10 people.

And you need to know, my mom and I have been known to reheat this in the microwave or a frying pan (with a little more butter...*ahem*. I'm feeling the need to go for a run) and still eat a few spoonfuls cold while we are waiting. Decadent!

Enjoy! (I know I will! Hurry up, Supper Time!)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wow-ful Women Wednesdays

Yes, technically, this is cheating. Still...bear with me.

Clearly the main feature of this video today is a man. However, there is a fantastic female in the duet. How dare some say she was merely a "Background vocal". I mean, clearly she is doing her fair share here.

There are a few reasons I really have some significant levels of affection for this song and this video in particular.

1) Who doesn't like Peter Gabriel? I mean, the man can sing. Let's just agree on that.

2) Paula Cole has such a stunning voice, and back in the day when I owned this, *ahem*, cassette, I thought this harmony line was one of the most brilliant ever. And she is incredibly in touch with his vocal movement and emotion. Stunning. They just mesh so perfectly.

3) She is pulling off the long gown and chunky boot fairly convincingly. She gets points for that. :-)

4) Sara Groves (see, there's a second Wow-ful Woman connection) alludes to this song at the end of one of her songs. I won't tell you which one, unless you ask nicely.
:-) There's a prize if you guess it right! (really?) But I bet my friend Mark (who I don't think reads this blog) would know right off the bat because he is even more of a Sara Groves' fan than I am.

5) Plus there is some serious poetry to analyze in these lyrics. And gems like "Whatever fear invents, I swear it makes no sense." Love it.

So enjoy this highly entertaining, dramatic version of Come Talk to Me by Peter Gabriel and Paula Cole.

The wretched desert takes its form, the jackal proud and tight
In search of you, I feel my way, though the slowest heaving night
Whatever fear invents, I swear it makes no sense
I reach through the border fence
Come down, come talk to me

In the swirling, curling storm of desire unuttered words hold fast
With reptile tongue, the lightning lashes towers built to last
Darkness creeps in like a thief and offers no relief
Why are you shaking like a leaf
Come on, come talk to me

Ah please talk to me
Won't you please talk to me
We can unlock this misery
Come on, come talk to me

[Chorus 1:]
I did not come to steal
This all is so unreal
Can't you show me how you feel now
Come on, come talk to me
Come talk to me [x2]

The earthly power sucks shadowed milk from sleepy tears undone
From nippled skin as smooth as silk the bugles blown as one
You lie there with your eyes half closed like there's no-one there at all
There's a tension pulling on your face
Come on, come talk to me

Won't you please talk to me
If you'd just talk to me
Unblock this misery
If you'd only talk to me

[Chorus 2:]
Don't you ever change your mind
Now your future's so defined
And you act so deaf and blind
(And you act so deaf so blind)
Come on, come talk to me
Come talk to me [x2]

I can imagine the moment
Breaking out through the silence
All the things that we both might say
And the heart it will not be denied
'Til we're both on the same damn side
All the barriers blown away

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Heard At My House

The Moment of Enlightment:

6 year old boy: "Hey! I know how parents can know when to do their kids' birthdays: By the day they were born!"


Yes, my little scholar. That would be a good way. As the table is erupting in laughter at his naivety, I comfort him with a story about myself when I was in Kindergarten.

The teacher asked me when my birthday was that year. I said "November 21st". We go around the circle asking all the kids. When it gets back to me, she says, "And when will your birthday be next year?" (Trick question!) I say, "I don't know. We haven't planned that far ahead yet."

Apparently, tragically, the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wow-ful Women Wednesdays

Today I come to you with such a profound sense of struggle and disappointment. I had not one, but TWO classic, genius, superb duets in mind to post today, both of which I would have dedicated to my sister, with whom I ROCKED THESE SONGS (have I mentioned that I love Karaoke...and singing into hairbrushes...and terrifying fellow drivers with my animated car-singing?). Alas, it was not meant to be. All the versions I found on youtube were sadly lacking in both visual and audio quality. Also remarkable was the fact that the one duet in particular, my sister and I sang with much greater gusto than the chanteuses on the videos. I have not given up! I will look for them again and try next week. Until then you can wait with baited breath, spending sleepless nights wondering what songs I might have been meaning to show you.....ooooh the suspense!

However, in the meantime, here is an exceptional track. Several good things about this: the vocals are so fun and pretty. The dresses are astounding. The message to young single women is outrageous. And I can vividly recall my dear friend Jess and 3 other lovely gals from our Senior high youth group doing an "Air Band" to this version of this song, taffeta included.

So without further ado: Wishing and Hoping.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Heard At My House

Conversation with my 3 year old daughter:

She says: "Mom, my dolly has brown eyes, just like I have brown eyes".

I say: "That's right honey, and just like I have brown eyes. What about Daddy? What colour eyes does he have?"

She says: "Brown"

I say: "Right! What about your sister?"

She says: "Brown"

I say: "Right! (and then trying to be funny) What colour is your belly button?"

She says (without batting an eye): "Silver. Do you have a silver belly button too, Mommy?"

Umm......Hmmmm.... :-)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Foodie Fridays

I know, I know. You've all been starving as your diliquent blogging friend has delayed in posting a new Foodie Friday item. Well, today's is worth the wait. Truthfully, it is even worth the "weight" might need to restrain yourself from overeating some of these babies. :-)

In some respects, I am shocked it has taken me this long to post this one. However, I may be hesitating to let you in on this culinary secret because my knowledge in this area gives me the title "Best Mom in the Whole World!" and if I let you in on it then I need to share the title too....I'm not sure I'm ready for that.

Well, okay. Just because you asked :-)

What I am talking about today is something we call "Corks and Screws". All you need is a 10 pound bag of potatoes (if you are us!), a couple of cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, some good oil, and (this is the secret part!) YOUR APPLE PEELER/CORER!!!

What? Did she say "Apple Peeler/Corer"? Oh yes, yes I did.

You take your potatoes, stick them on the corer. Don't worry if they are wonky-shaped potatoes. If they don't get fully peeled it actually tastes better. Crank it up just like you would for apples except look at the delicious spiral cut fries you just made! But don't forget about the "core" of the potato. He is delicious too!

So the spiraly part is the "screw" and the core is the "cork".

Now toss the screws and corks, separately, in a wee bit of olive oil, lay them(screws and corks separately) in as single-a-layer as possible on your parchment lined sheets and bake in a 400F - 425F oven for 20-35 minutes or until crispy on the outside and soft in the middle and gorgeously brown all over. (It may take longer if your oven is over-full with 10 pounds of potatoes. It takes a while for the hot air to get around all 4 of my cookie sheets!

Serve with ketchup and vinegar.

To further jazz these babies up, you can toss them with your favourite spice mix. We've done an "herbes de provence mix" which was insanely good. We've also done a chili flavour, and just a good coarse sea salt and cracked black pepper. I've never tried, but I bet you could also skip the oil and spices and toss the Corks and Screws with Italian Salad Dressing. Easy Breezy. SO GOOD!!!

Do watch that you don't use too much oil when you toss, or do use a really high-smoking point oil. I've heard that some people have smoked out their kitchens on more than one occassion. :-) *ahem*

My kids ask for this so often. Yum yum yum.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wow-ful Women Wednesday

So I was talking to my good friends Kate and Joy the other day and we got talking about all our favourite old girl bands from the WayBack years. You know, all the things we'd sing at Karaoke if we had the chance. There was of course Pat Benatar, who has been posted here before) and The Bangles, and Wilson Philips.

But...but ...BUT!!! how did we forget the Go Go's? Seriously. I am splitting a gut here laughing with the happy memories of this song, and this video, and knowing full well that every dance move I ever used (other than my Janet Jackson moves, of course) I learned from Belinda Carlisle, and truthfully, I likely (read, 100% certainly) still dance like this today, not that you will EVER be subjected to the real life visual of that.

Plus, I know, with great certainty, that I had this exact sweater, in cream. And I KNOW with equally great certainty that I just gave it to Goodwill last month. (resisting the urge to go find it and buy it back. Look how slimming it is! Man.)

Enjoy! I know I am :-)

Head Over Heels -- The Go Go's

Been running so long
I've nearly lost all track of time
In every direction
I couldn't see the warning signs
I must be losin' it
'Cuz my mind plays tricks on me
It looked so easy
But you know looks sometimes deceive

Been running so fast
Right from the starting line
No more connections
I don't need any more advice
One hand's just reaching out
And one's just hangin' on
It seems my weaknesses
Just keep going strong

Head over heels
Where should I go
Can't stop myself
Outta control
Head over heels
No time to think
Looks like
The whole world's out of sync

Been running so hard
When what I need is to unwind
The voice of reason
Is one I left so far behind
I waited so long
So long to play this part
And just remembered
That I'd forgotten about my heart